Larimer County not yet Eligible for State COVID-19 5 Star Certification Program

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NoCo NOW! Episode 4: Old Town Recovery

Old Town Fort Collins is a well-preserved district that features over twenty historical buildings that are national and local designated historic districts. Join us for a live discussion with Jim Hewitt (Owner of the Cupboard) of a long-time old town retail business and Laura Levy (Pandemic Recovery Manager of the Larimer Recovery Collaborative) to learn more about how Old Town businesses are surviving in these trying times.


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has announced the “5 Star Certification Program,” which would allow counties to apply for the program once they meet certain metrics and criteria for a period of time.

The program is voluntary and encourages businesses to take steps past what is already required by Public Health orders and guidelines to aid in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate reopening and be eligible for less restrictive capacity limits. The program also requires a two-week sustained decline in cases, a positivity percentage lower than ten percent or improvement over the past two weeks, fewer than 90 percent of ICU beds in use, and steady or declining regional hospitalizations.

“Because of the high degree of collaboration we have with the Public Health Department and throughout the business community, we have been able to move swiftly to align our work with the State’s 5 Star Certification Program,” said Jacob Castillo, Economic, and Workforce Development Director. “We are doing a lot of work behind the scenes right now and will not waste a minute in implementing the program once we’ve been given the green light,” Jacob said.

Larimer County is currently seeing progress in declining case counts, while positivity rates for COVID-19 testing are starting to drop within the community as hospitalizations begin to decline. The county is on the correct path, and trends are aligned with being able to open at higher capacity levels with stricter requirements despite the county not meeting the requirements to move forward with the 5 Star Certification Program.

Larimer County Public Health is currently working with the Larimer area Chambers and the county economic development team to determine the best way to implement the program and prepare the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment application. Larimer County is referring to this 5 Star Certification Program as the “Level Up Program.”

“We want our businesses operating at the safest capacity possible, and the more we continue to follow the protective measures and guidance, the closer we can get to achieving the required metrics to receive approval from the state,” said Tom Gonzales, public health director. “While we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel with a vaccine, for now, we need to continue limiting interactions outside of our household and wearing face coverings,” Tom said.

For more information regarding Larimer County and COVID-19, visit: or or to learn more about the 5-Star Certification Program, visit:

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